Report: Gruden Has Contacted Former Vols About Coaching With Him

    by -

    Now that Tennessee’s football program officially has a vacancy at their head coaching position, all the “Grumors” have started to fire into overdrive. Except now it seems some of these Grumors may, in fact, be true.

    A couple different sources in and around the Tennessee program shared information on Monday that seems to point to the fact Gruden may be a more realistic candidate for the Vols’ head coaching position than many may think.

    According to former 247Sports writer John Brice, Gruden has reached out to some former Vols about potentially joining his coaching staff should he accept the head coaching position at Tennessee.

    “The overtures to Jon Gruden, a Super Bowl champion coach, the NFL’s most recognizable broadcast voice and one-time UT assistant coach in the 1980s, are very real and much further along than at any point in any of Tennessee’s previous courtships to the mega-star football mind,” Brice writes. “Six different sources, ranging from current coaches to former all-time great Vols to college administrators, in the past 72-96 hours tell me that Gruden is far more seriously considering this Tennessee offer than ever before; so much so that Gruden is making some preliminary calls to coaches and other college athletics folks about potentially joining him in Knoxville.”

    Brice would go on to say that “money is no issue” at Tennessee for this next hire, but he did caution those who would go ahead and assume that this information means Gruden is definitely coming to Knoxville.

    “Ultimately Gruden must not only choose to say yes but sign his name to a contract that makes it official,” Brice states. “Next weekend he is allegedly on the verge of his third trip to Knoxville within the past few weeks in between his Monday Night Football obligations for ESPN, which pays Gruden approximately $6 million annually as its top NFL on-air personality.”

    Brice wasn’t the only person to report this information, however.

    Former Tennessee wide receiver and current sports radio host Jayson Swain confirmed Brice’s report, saying he’s also heard that Gruden has reached out to two former Vols about joining his staff.

    When asked if information relayed by Tony Basilio, a long-time sports radio host in Knoxville, was correct about Gruden reaching out to either Tee Martin or Dale Jones, Swain also confirmed that bit of information.

    ESPN’s Monday Night football is in Seattle this next Monday, and they are in North Carolina tonight as the Panthers host the Dolphins. Stopping by in Tennessee on the way to Seattle from Carolina isn’t the craziest idea, so it’s possible Gruden comes by Knoxville for a day or two in the next week.

    We’ll have more on this story as more develops.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.